Each workplace is made up of many personalities. We each work differently, come from different places and have different strengths and weaknesses. This type of variety is vital for any workplace to be successful. The more perspectives brought to the table, the easier it is for a company to diversify its capabilities, work towards similar shared goals and deliver good work for the company. So how can an organization or community effectively work towards a shared goal while embracing its varying types of individuals? While there are many answers to this age-old question, at Branigan Communications, we’ve used the Enneagram to understand one another better, approach our conflicts more empathetically and strengthen the work we do.
The Enneagram (https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/how-the-enneagram-system-works) is a type of self-discovery test with nine distinct, yet interwoven, personalities, called types.
The types, in order, are as follows: The Reformer, The Helper, The Achiever, The Individualist, The Investigator, The Loyalist, The Enthusiast, The Challenger, and The Peacemaker.
To read in-depth about each type, check out this article (https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/how-the-enneagram-system-works).
Each type has its own set of defining characteristics, yet what makes the Enneagram such a unique personality test is that each type is also tied, correlated and reflective of every other type. The Three Centers are a good example of this. In the Feelings Center, or the types most driven by their feelings, are The Helpers, The Achievers and The Individualists. In the Thinking Center, where types are most driven by their internal thoughts and logic, are The Investigator, The Loyalist and The Enthusiast. Lastly, in the Instinctive Center, where types are most guided by their instincts, are The Challenger, The Peacemaker and The Reformer.
After taking a quick (and free) test (https://www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/test) to identify their types, individuals have access to a wealth of information on themselves and the people around them.
When a company or team takes the Enneagram Test and is open about their results, the benefits are numerous and surprising.
First, allowing your team to know you better makes it easier to be yourself in the workplace. The average person will spend more than 13 years of their lives at work, according to a study by HuffPost Australia. Imagine if the people you were spending this time with knew how to work with you more efficiently and respectfully. On a personal level, the Enneagram allows for a more comfortable and engaging work dynamic.
Furthermore, the Enneagram enables coworkers to approach conflict more directly, more peacefully and more efficiently. Understanding someone’s personality type often means understanding where they might be coming from in situations that arise in the workplace. For example, if a supervisor who enjoys getting work done quickly and efficiently (say, The Reformer) is working with a coworker with a multitude of ideas flying around their creative mind (say, The Enthusiast), the supervisor could use Enneagram type characteristics to better understand where the coworker is coming from and use tactics that work best for both of them when working on tasks and projects.
Utilizing the Enneagram in the workplace allows for employees to understand their strengths and weaknesses. One of the most popular personality types is The Loyalist. This type generally worries about the people around them and things not in their control. (We have more Loyalists at Branigan Communications than any other type!) However, by being aware of this, Loyalists can learn to remove themselves from their worries and shift that energy to focus on what can and can’t be controlled at work – which helps in building a workspace with less anxieties and more empathy for themselves and the people around them.
With the Enneagram test, Conflict is confronted more skillfully and boundaries are respected more purposefully. Teams can become closer, work harder and perform better – and there’s plenty of room for fun and self-discovery along the way.
For more on The Enneagram Test, listen to Episode five of The Branigan Podcast!